CANBERRA: Australia’s large scale investment in renewables plunged by 88 percent in 2014 to the lowest level since 2005.
The Australian government’s disinterest in green energy has made Australia almost a no-go zone for large scale renewable investment, according to a study released Wednesday.Large scale investment in renewable energy slumped by 88 percent in 2014 to just US$240 million, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). The figure is the lowest since 2002.
We recorded zero investment in the wind sector,” BNEF lead analyst Kobad Bhavnagri told the Sydney Morning Herald.Large scale renewable projects in Australia are now “uninvestable,” the report concluded.Bhavnagri attributed the collapse in investment to dwindling interest in the government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) from Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s administration. Australia’s RET currently sits at 41 terawatt-hours annually by 2020, though Abbott has called for this target to be slashed to 27 terawatt-hours.Industry groups have warned if Abbott eventually succeeds in cutting the RET, investment in renewables is likely to nosedive further.Its controversial review panel recommended scrapping the target or radically diminishing it in August 2014, but the government is yet to announce a position that can gain approval of the parliament and restore confidence to the sector,” The Australian newspaper quoted Bhavnagri as stating.The industry and science ministry has responded to the report by arguing proposed changes to the RET would better reflect market realities, and promote investment.